Sometimes I feel like life would be so much easier if I could just write down my hopes and dreams wish list and mail it to God like a little kid sending their Christmas list to Santa Claus. I would be like Sally in A Charlie Brown Christmas:
“All I want is what I… I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.”
I’ve found that when I attempt to chart out my life however, when I plan first and ask for God’s assistance second, the more my strategies seem to backfire. God has a plan for each one of us that is better than any plan we could ever devised for ourselves:
“’For I know the plans I have for you, ‘ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”. -Jeremiah 29:11
I was walking through a nature preserve recently when I stumbled upon a tree shaped unlike any I’d ever seen before. It began typically enough, the trunk rising majestically up towards the sky, but as my eye followed its growth above the shrub line, I noticed something strange had happened. The tree had changed its direction entirely and began gliding along at an almost 90 degree angle for a few feet before re-routing once again back to its original vertical rise.
I stood there for a moment, staring dumbfounded at this oddly shaped tree. This giant plant had completely changed its natural course of growth and there was no apparent explanation as to why. There were no other trees interrupting its growth path and the ratio of sunlight it had been receiving seemed to be pretty equal to the amount it was currently taking in.
As I stood there, I heard the gentle whisper of a still, small voice telling me that even when things don’t seem to be going exactly as I had originally planned, just like this tree, God will take care of me. He may direct my steps down a path I never would have chosen, but if I let go and allow Him to take the reins, the destination He will lead me to will be greater than any I could have ever reached on my own.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” –Proverbs 16:9